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 Base Plate

I've seem many Hex Beam builders use different materials to construct their base plate. So if your going to use whatever materials you have handy around the house that will work then go for it.

I started with a 12x12 inch square aluminum sheet 3/16 inch thick. The aluminum sheet was purchased from onlinemetals, cost $23.00 plus shipping at the time I purchased it. Many builders have used different shapes for their base plate. As the saying goes measure twice and cut once.  I should have followed the golden rule. After messing up the cut on the aluminum sheet, I was out one day with the XYL and came across some poster board at a craft store; I used that to make a template to ensure I get the cut and shape correct.
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        Aluminum Sheet
After making a template made from poster board I had the correct pattern. Since I did not purchase another aluminum sheet I used a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood from another project.

    Baseplate                Baseplate Fig 2       Baseplate Fig 3

Fig 2 shows the baseplate with all the holes drilled out for all the hardware except for the floor flange. Fig 3 shows the floor flange with the center post installed. The aluminum tubing on the baseplate was used to support the crappy fishing poles that I had started out with. More about this later.   

I put four coats of black paint on the baseplate. Then added another four coats of  (Varathane Spar Urethane), which is used to protect outdoor furniture. This should last for sometime before I have to change it. Now that I have a template, I should have no trouble cutting out a new aluminum sheet.

If you do not want to make your own baseplate you can purchase it from two places. One is Dx Engineering for $99.95 which is made very well. One of the best I've seen. Or you can purchase it from
Dx Engineering Baseplate.       Hexkit Baseplate

Constructing The Baseplate:

There are four steps to making a baseplate from a 12x12 aluminum sheet. Photo's below are courtesy of  K4KIO Leo Shoemaker.
Here's the 12x12 aluminum sheet you'll start with. Or if you choose to used 3/4 plywood.
        Step A                       Step B

  Step C                      Step D
A printable version of this is available at K4KIO website. Click Here To return back to this website use your backspace button on your browser.

Here's a picture of what my aluminum baseplate look like. Again remember to measure twice and cut once. I now have a hexagon ground radial plate for my home brew vertical antenna. It may look like a good cut but it isn't.


Up Date March 30, 2010:

Since I needed to re-do my antenna support system and will have to take the antenna down. I decided to re-do the baseplate. I purchased another aluminum plate this time from Hexkit. Which also comes with a template for cutting and drilling out the u-bolt holes. The plate measure 10x12. You only need to make four cuts, and then drill out holes for your u-bolts. I had only one problem. My u-bolts are 1 inch which are a little bigger then those used with the Hexkit baseplate. So I had to make adjustment for the u-bolt holes. Below are some pictures of the new baseplate.

New 10x12 Plate     Baseplate Template        Template

     First Cut               Cuts Complete      Prepare To Drill

Plate Hole Drill

New Jig Saw after burning out the other one when cutting the first aluminum plate which I had for sometime.

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